|System: PC, PS3|
|Dev: Telltale Games|
|Pub: Telltale Games|
|Release: April 29, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
So, those of us who play Back to the Future: The Game because we love Back to the Future, not because we love point-and-click games, are left out for most of the game. Even point-and-click fans will be disappointed to find that Telltale made the puzzles so simple to make the game friendly to casual gamers. It's several hours of walking around, collecting items, matching items to their proper uses, using the hint system when necessary, and praying for a new plot twist or well-done cutscene.
Fortunately, though, toward the end, there are some plot twists and well-done cutscenes to reward us for our time. I won't spoil the precise details, but what's great about these scenes is that they rely on a very sensitive fact: With the timeline as it is, Young Doc has fallen in love with Edna, and while Old Doc knows where Edna's good intentions can lead, he's still sympathetic to her plight. Neither Doc wants to restore the original timeline, in which Hill Valley turns out okay, but Edna ends up as a bitter, lonely old woman, screaming at her neighbors through the window. As bored as I was solving mediocre point-and-click puzzles for several hours, I wouldn't miss the final episode for the world, because I want to see how Marty and the two Docs decide to work things out.
Before wrapping up, I should weigh in on the basics of the game, but I'll keep it brief, because they haven't really changed since the previous episodes. The graphics are still well-done but not high-tech. The controls are still kind of annoying, with clunky movement and invisible walls, but by this point I'm used to it. The music and voice acting are still top-notch, setting the bar for future movie-based games (A. J. LoCascio's awesome imitation of Michael J. Fox always deserves a shout-out).
All told, Back to the Future: The Game will go down in franchise history as a terrific new story, with interesting new plot ideas that incorporate time travel and introduce great new characters. I only wish that the minute-by-minute gameplay were as well-done as the larger structure.
CCC Contributing Writer